Future Directions Handbook
Transition is the point at which the initiative would move beyond the New initiative phase usually after a 3-year seed funded work supported by the NIC. Throughout the initiative time during the start-up phase the initiative starts to gather assets and IP created throughout this time.
Possible future paths of the initiative include the following:
- An IEEE wide technical community is formed with either of the following models:
- 100% financially owned by an individual society/OU with staff program management by that society
- A consortium of societies/OUs, each with a partial financial commitment; one lead society/OU; different levels of financial commitment allowed between the various entities.
- Incorporated within a particular society/OU who retains complete management
- Components or individual products of the initiative can be migrated to a society/OU or another initiative with possible sunsetting of non revenue-generating processes or products
- Dissolution, if the initiative fails to provide value consistent with the mission and strategic direction of IEEE
The transition should identify the initiative’s assets and provide a plan for the the transfer of these assets of the initiative to the new entity. Assets may include:
- Website/portal management
- Social Media management
- Content location (webinars/videos/papers etc)
- Product management transition
- Ongoing support of the products
- Inventory of products and services, including budget and revenue information
- Business plan
Other aspects of the initiative need to be determined:
- Funding model (Operational and Project). The initiative needs to be self-sustaining at this point.
- Identification of a project manager/dedicated staff
- Resource support (web portal, staff support of existing products)
- Standalone vs. society sponsored
For Society sponsored, support should be garnered in conjunction with budget cycles.
It is critical to begin planning for the transition from the beginning of the initiative. Throughout the life cycle of the initiative, communication and cross promotion of activities across the sponsoring societies/OUs and IEEE is critical. A strong steering committee should be established with representations across Societies, Councils, IT, MSD, PubTech, Standards, and industry and academic participation. The focus for the initiative projects and products should be longevity and sustainability. During transition, continuity of leadership and identification of future support structures is valuable to insure consistency moving forward. Finally, it helps to define a business model that ensures clarity and reliable funding source(s) throughout the initiative’s entire life cycle; it can be very challenging to instead manage year to year without a multi-year view. Thought should be given to minimizing costs/increasing efficiencies and loss of knowledge during the transition; for example, to lower cost, staff support already trained can continue the work on a contractual basis (e.g., TEC and SmartCities are utilizing FD staff and are also included in FD’s PR firm contract).